Two Saturdays ago I had the opportunity to see one of my favorite bands live again at Kung Fu Necktie in Philadelphia. Other Lives played an incredible show to a sold out audience. It’s easy to see why, because they are an amazing band to see live. When writing their second album Tamer Animals, members of the band learned new instruments to fit with the sound of the song they wanted to write, instead of writing a song based on the instruments they already play. Not only does this make for a gorgeous, rich sounding record, but a stunning live show as well. Watching an Other Lives show is an entrancing experience. Since they each play so many instruments, it was great to see them fit them all on stage let alone play one, put it down, pick up another, then harmonize vocals, then pick up a new instrument. I was also glad to see the show sold out, I am definitely someone who loves seeing bands I adore get the credit they deserve and with a crowd of dancing, singing along, ecstatic Philly fans (and some out-of-towners), I couldn’t stop smiling. Also, to know that today they are starting their tour with one of my favorite bands of all time, Radiohead, makes my heart even happier. What I would give to see them play together! Make sure you check out Other Lives on tour, and at Coachella or Bonnaroo if you are going to either festival. Click the photo above to visit our gig photos page and see more photos from the show. Check out tour dates with Radiohead, my interview with lead singer Jesse Tabish from their show at KFN last June, and stream the full album Tamer Animals below:
02.27.12 – American Airlines Arena – Miami, FL ^
02.29.12 – St. Pete Times Forum – Tampa, FL ^
03.01.12 – Philips Arena – Atlanta, GA ^
03.03.12 – Toyota Center – Houston, TX ^
03.05.12 – American Airlines Center – Dallas, TX ^
03.07.12 – Frank Erwin Center – Austin, TX ^
03.09.12 – Scottrade Center – St. Louis, MO ^
03.11.12 – Sprint Center – Kansas City, MO ^
03.13.12 – 1st Bank Center – Broomfield, CO ^
03.15.12 – Jobing.com Arena – Glendale, AZ ^
^ w/ Radiohead
Stream the entire Other Lives album Tamer Animals out now:
An interview with Jesse Tabish from their show in June at KFN in Philly:
CD:How did you all meet and how did the band form?
JT: We had known each other from high school but we never really hung out or anything, but we started right after high school so it’s been about 8 years and we started an instrumental project. Then that formed into a band called Kunek which then that formed into Other Lives, and this is our second record as Other Lives.
CD: I know for this new record, the band decided to not use the same instruments, but to learn new ones; what led you to that “a-ha” moment that you didn’t have to use the same instruments you were used to playing to make the new record?
JT: Yeah, you would think that would be a no-brainer! We’ve always had classical ambitions but when we initially started out as a six-piece band and we weren’t really familiar with recording yet.. and so over the years the idea grew stronger: being a recording project rather than a band, or the two being equal. So, our first record as Other Lives we did it in a proper studio, after that we decided next time we are doing it our way and the kind of music that I had been hearing was very dimensional and layered, that kind of music taking a lot of time was a nice pair with us recording it by ourselves.
CD: How was that recording experience, was it something you will do again?
JT: Yeah, because you work on things until it’s right, and those things take a lot of time but you get it until you are pleased with it. You know? It’s kind of simple. John that is in the band is really great at recording and engineering and editing, he had that on the other end where he was doing a lot of that, so that was really helpful.
CD: Who in the group learned new instruments to record this record?
JT: I am the lazy one of the group, John and everyone else has. I write a lot and I’m really not that good so they do all the heavy lifting.
CD: How was opening for The Decemberists did that help your fanbase?
JT: I think so, yeah. You know you don’t know until you hit that city again, and so when we hit those cities for the second time by ourselves or with somebody else, people will be like “Oh we saw you with The Decemberists,” you get that… it definitely helps. And it’s a great experience playing in front of like 3,000 fans, well not fans of ours but still- it’s great.
CD: What are your favorite tour activities?
JT: Besides sleeping when I can…I write on the road in the van so that is my very favorite thing to do. I get some nice reading in, and then breakfast is a big highlight, it’s the start you know so I always look for a good breakfast joint. So breakfast, writing and reading.
CD: When do you have to leave the city after the show, is there every any time to explore?
JT: Sometimes the night of, there is not a whole lot of hanging out. You go to the hotel, then you pack and load.
CD: What is your favorite city to go to on tour?
JT: Besides Philly, tonight was fantastic! I always love playing in LA we have a lot of friends and our label is there, that’s always great. Recently actually we have been playing shows in our studio, our recording studio, so it’s been really fun. My mom and dad are there, my grandma..
CD: Is that in Oklahoma?
JT: Yeah, it’s in Oklahoma so it’s fits like 100 people really tight but it’s great, and you get like an 8 hour soundcheck if you want.
CD: What are your favorite songs off your new record Tamer Animals?
JT: I’ll pick 3.. I like Dark Horse, Woodwind and Landforms, they are closest to the ideal that we set out to do.
CD: How are the summer festivals treating you? You just played Sasquatch…
JT: We just did Sasquatch and that was great! It was a really good lineup, a lot of great bands. It’s a really good time to check out other bands. I saw a little bit of Beach House and I loved that.
CD: You said in this album, it’s less political and instead it’s more about observation, but what are you paying attention to currently in the news?
JT: You know, I as a real leftist, I really struggle, and I’ve struggled more in the last 8 years. It’s been.. I go back and forth between how I feel. I voted for Obama and was so pleased, and under the current political climate I feel like hes a real pragmatist I mean they are all capitalists whether its Obama or bush, You know I think I will vote for him again. But as a lot of progressives there is frustration with gay rights. We are going to look back in 50 years and be really ashamed that two people of the same sex can’t get married it’s a real shame. I think we all want to see those things get implemented in. At the same time Obama’s doing everything he can in that current political climate I just hate that climate. I hate that we are still having debates over global warming. So recently I kind of shut out of the news because it is all talking points and it’s all..I don’t want to hear about Sarah Palin and what she has to do… and nobody’s getting to the root of problems… So not to be a downer, but I would like to see more debate. I think a lot of people would. But the right is so loud, and their media is so loud, that progressives here are always on the defense and trying to block out the noise. Because the first record was more politically driven and I’ve kind of given up on that and just if people can look at their surroundings and nature and their relationship with it, I don’t want to say anything other than maybe just observe what is now whether that be politically or environmentally or just- us.